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Pure Appl. Chem., 2006, Vol. 78, No. 1, pp. 135-143

Reference materials as crucial tools for quality assurance and control in food analysis

Hendrik Emons, Andrea Held and Franz Ulberth

European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM), Retieseweg 111, 2440 Geel, Belgium

Abstract: The role of reference materials (RMs) in analytical quality assurance (QA) is outlined with special emphasis on trace element analysis of foodstuff. Crucial aspects for the development of such food RMs are illustrated by a recent example of trace elements in rice flour. Major influences on the uncertainty of certified values are discussed and possibilities to enhance the availability and fitness-for-purpose of RMs as well as their proper use are indicated.